Vacuum Pump and fittings

Help needed in determining which size vacuum pump and which fittings to purchase.
A little background. I've been learning auto airconditioning and have also been trying to learn about home a/c systems. So far, thanks to this group, I've had some success in troubleshooting a residential system...troubleshooting electrical problems, cleaning condensor and evaporator coils and checking amount of charge in system.
My immediate problem I have a tiny freon leak in a home system, it's enough to set off a freon detector, but the freon charge doesn't seem to be dropping (using a standard manifold gauge and taking measurements over several weeks). A person recommended trying the HVAC-R sealant which seems to be exactly for this type system a Bryant 24000 R-22 system.
The instruction say to apply a vacuum to the charging hose before connecting to the low side of the system...... I'm thinking a vacuum pump is required and don't mind picking one up as I enjoy using tools....(never met a tool I didn't like).... and would actually like to learn more in-depth knowledge about a/c systems both residential and automotive.
Robinair has some 1.5 CFM double stage pumps so does Monster....... What would you recommend for a homeowner who wants to do occasionally repairs and checks on systems, but is NOT a professional and would only use the equipment on an occasional basis during learning and small repairs. ??
Which fittings should be ordered with the vacuum pump to solve the immediate problem of creating a vacuum in a charging hose for an R-22 system.
Are there any good online tutorials on using vacuum pumps for a/c repairs ??
Thanking you in advance for your assistance and knowledge !!!
Peter
(ignorance is curable
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Peter writes:

Just purge the hose with refrigerant.
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I suspect the tools will cost more than having someone else fix the problem.
I any case, I've not tried the leak sealer stuff. My vacuum pump has a 3/8 flare fitting on it, and my ordinary gages are 1/4. So you'd want a flare reducer.
Either that, or you can get a four valve manifold and a vacuum pump. Sounds like you might use them for the auto work.
Someone else suggested just purge with refrigerant. Could work -- I'm not sure.
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Christopher A. Young
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